TOMS RIVER — Does this happen every year? Halloween is over and you’re stuck with a ton of candy. You’re not sure what to do with it so you eat it.

Think about getting rid of that extra trick-or-treat candy, make a little money in the process, and support our military troops.

Rotem Dental Care on 180 Route 37 in Toms River is hosting its 18th annual Halloween Candy Buyback. For two days only, Tuesday, Nov. 1., and Wednesday, Nov. 3., between 12:30 and 5:30 p.m., kids and adults can bring in their unwanted Halloween treats.

Dr. Ron Rotem (Photo Credit: Rotem Dental Care)
Dr. Ron Rotem (Photo Credit: Rotem Dental Care)
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About 18 years ago, Rotem said he heard about other dental practices from around the country doing a similar program so he thought it would be a great idea to do this at his practice, he said. It has just developed year after year.

“The kids enjoyed it. The parents were happy to give the candy back so the kids did not have to eat the candy. It was a good experience for everybody and giving the candy to the troops made it even better,” Rotem said.

Rotem Dental Care Halloween Candy Buyback (Photo Credit: Rotem Dental Care)
Rotem Dental Care Halloween Candy Buyback (Photo Credit: Rotem Dental Care)
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Kids and adults just bring their candy in during that five-hour time slot on any of the two participating days, and they’ll receive $1 per pound of candy, up to $10 max per family.

Rotem said a $50 gift card will be awarded to the person who brings in the most candy by weight.

Everyone is invited to partake in the Halloween Candy BuyBack. It’s not just for Dr. Rotem patients.

“Last year was a slower year. We collected a couple of hundred pounds of candy. At our peak, and this was before COVID, we had collected over 2,000 pounds of candy,” Rotem said.

Rotem Dental Care Halloween Candy Buyback (Photo Credit: Rotem Dental Care)
Rotem Dental Care Halloween Candy Buyback (Photo Credit: Rotem Dental Care)
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For the past seven years, Rotem Dental Care has partnered with members of the Toms River High School North Military Club, an official JROTC, who have assisted with the transportation of the candy.

The candy is taken to the Naval Air Engineering Station in Lakehurst where it’s boxed up and sent to the troops to various locations all over the world, said Danielle Stolz, military liaison and JROTC Academy Facilitator.

This has been a fabulous 18 years, Rotem said. He believes his practice is the only one that has partnered with the Naval Air Station to send candy to troops.

“Kids usually do not like to give up their candy. But when they come over here, they’re happy to get cash for their candy. There’s no arguing, there’s no crying and the kids are just enjoying it,” he added.

Rotem Dental Care Halloween Candy Buyback (Photo Credit: Rotem Dental Care)
Rotem Dental Care Halloween Candy Buyback (Photo Credit: Rotem Dental Care)
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The troops are thankful too.

Rotem said he’s received a few letters of gratitude from soldiers over the course of the 18 years he’s been doing the candy buyback.

The troops will often give the candy to the children in the villages where they are deployed because these kids don’t have access to candy like this, Rotem said. American candy is a bit hit overseas.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at jennifer.ursillo@townsquaremedia.com

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